CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - During October's Sportsmanship Month, all nine America East institutions held S.T.A.R.S. (Student-Athletes Advancing Respect through Sports) sportsmanship initiatives on campus. Each S.T.A.R.S. event gave America East student-athletes a chance to interact with youth athletes and help develop their sense of sportsmanship.
Each of the schools created its own unique set of activities to teach the youth athletes the meaning of good sportsmanship. Events included sportsmanship academies, videos, autograph sessions, handshake lines and attending a college game.
Boston University held its sportsmanship event at a
women's hockey game. Around 50 youth athletes and their parents attended the
game along with SAAC members. Before the game, athletes made posters with the
children and held a discussion about sportsmanship. Youth athletes were also
shown a video of sports highlights and were asked to pick out examples of both
good and bad sportsmanship. In between periods, the visiting athletes went out
on the ice for some activities, and after the game, the children were given the
opportunity to get autographs from the players. Click here for pictures of the event.
Hartford held a sportsmanship clinic for 75 kids before a men's soccer game. There were six stations run by SAAC members each with a different activity to teach the kids the meaning of good sportsmanship. The activities at the stations included: making posters, watching a student-athlete performed skit about sportsmanship, playing sportsmanship jeopardy, and writing a paragraph about what sportsmanship meant to them. The youth athletes also participated in the handshake line before the game and received a certificate to show they had graduated from Howie's Sportsmanship Academy.
Stony Brook University's first S.T.A.R.S event had 100 children and parents, and 35 student-athletes in attendance. Before the men's soccer game, the children attended Wolfie's Sportsmanship Academy. At the academy, SBU athletes showed and discussed videos about sportsmanship and made signs with the youth athletes. Children and their parents had to sign a pledge stating they would be vessels of good sportsmanship. At the game, captains of both SBU's and Albany's team read aloud the America East sportsmanship pledge. And after the game, youth athletes could go get autographs from Stony Brook players. Each child who participated also received a certificate showing they had graduated from Wolfie's Sportsmanship Academy.
A sportsmanship PSA was also written and filmed at the conference SAAC meeting held on November 6 and 7. Student-athletes were asked to discuss what sportsmanship means to them. The PSA will be aired during basketball telecasts.